Fast charging technologies have evolved significantly in recent years to address the ever-increasing power demands of modern mobile devices. Users now expect their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to recharge quickly and efficiently. This demand has led to the development of several fast charging standards, each with its unique features and capabilities.
In this article we provide an analysis of two popular fast charging standards: Power Delivery (PD), Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC). In addition, we look at a third advanced charging technology used in USB-C devices – Programmable Power Supply (PPS). By comparing these standards in terms of technical specifications, charge speed, and compatible products, we aim to help users make informed decisions when choosing charging solutions for their devices.
POWER DELIVERY (PD)
Power Delivery, commonly referred to as PD, is a universal fast charging standard developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). It is characterised by its flexibility in terms of power levels and compatibility with various device types. PD supports voltage levels from 5V to 48Vand currents from 0.5A to 5A, resulting in a maximum power delivery of 240W.
PD’s charge speed varies depending on the power profiles supported by the charger and the device being charged. It can deliver up to 240W making it suitable for laptops, tablets, and smartphones. PD is capable of delivering significant charging speeds, especially when paired with high-power chargers.
Power Delivery is widely supported by a variety of manufacturers, including Apple, Google, Samsung, and more. Many modern laptops, smartphones, and accessories come with PD compatibility, making it a versatile and widely adopted standard.
QUALCOMM QUICK CHARGE (QC)
Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC) is a proprietary fast charging technology developed by Qualcomm. It operates primarily on Android devices equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. QC supports various versions, including QC 2.0, QC 3.0, QC 4.0, QC4+ and QC 5 . Each version offers different voltage levels and power delivery capabilities, with QC 5 being the latest and most advanced.
The charge speed of Qualcomm Quick Charge depends on the specific version and device in use. It can deliver a substantial charging boost, allowing devices to charge significantly faster than traditional charging methods. Some QC versions also include features like Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV) to optimise charging efficiency.
Qualcomm Quick Charge is predominantly found on Android devices with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Many leading smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung, LG, and OnePlus, include QC support in their products. Starting from QC 4 version, Qualcomm Quick Charge is supported by iPhone 8 or above.
PROGRAMMABLE POWER SUPPLY (PPS)
Programmable Power Supply (PPS) is a fast charging standard that focuses on precise control of voltage and current during charging. It is often used in conjunction with USB Power Delivery (PD) to enhance charging efficiency. PPS allows for dynamic voltage adjustments from 3V to 21V and precise current control.
PPS is designed to improve charging efficiency by minimising power loss and maximising compatibility with a wide range of devices. It can adapt to the unique requirements of each device, providing optimal charging speeds while maintaining safety and efficiency.
PPS is less common than PD and QC but is gaining traction in the market. Some devices, especially high-end smartphones and certain chargers, support PPS to offer more efficient and faster charging.
SPEED AND EFFICIENCY
PD offers a high degree of flexibility in terms of power delivery, making it suitable for a wide range of devices. Its maximum power delivery of 240W is particularly beneficial for laptops and other power-hungry devices.
QC focuses on delivering fast charging speeds primarily for Android devices. It offers various versions with different charging capabilities, allowing manufacturers to choose the most suitable option for their devices.
PPS enhances charging efficiency by providing precise control over voltage and current. It is often used in conjunction with PD to optimise charging for different devices.
PD enjoys broad compatibility across various manufacturers and device types, making it one of the most versatile fast charging standards.
QC is prevalent in many Android smartphones and tablets, but its proprietary nature limits its adoption to devices with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.
PPS is less common but is gaining popularity, especially among high-end smartphones and some charger manufacturers. PPS is emerging as a complementary technology to PD, improving charging efficiency within the USB Power Delivery framework.
The choice of a fast charging standard depends on various factors, including the specific device being charged, ecosystem preferences, and manufacturer support. Power Delivery (PD) stands out for its flexibility and universal compatibility, making it a top choice for many users. Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC) offers fast charging for Android devices with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Programmable Power Supply (PPS) enhances charging efficiency within the PD framework.
When selecting a fast charging solution, consumers should carefully consider their unique needs and ecosystem preferences to ensure an optimal charging experience. As technology continues to advance, these standards will likely evolve, further improving charging speeds and efficiency for all users.